Personal Liberty Laws

    Source citation
    "Personal Liberty Laws," Louisville (KY) Journal, December 8, 1860, p. 3.
    Original source
    Albany (NY) Journal
    Newspaper: Publication
    Louisville (KY) Journal
    Newspaper: Headline
    Personal Liberty Laws
    Newspaper: Page(s)
    Date Certainty
    Zak Rosenberg
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    The Albany Evening Journal is perhaps the most powerful and influential of all the freesoil organs of the North. Its statement is regard to the Personal Liberty Laws should be duly and deeply considered by the people of the South:

    AUGUSTA, Nov. 20

    A resolution was offered in the Georgia Legislature, demanding the repeal by Northern States of laws obstructing the rendition of fugitive slaves; also, an enactment of Congress for removing obstructions by Territories to the introduction of all property; such action being contingent on Georgia remaining in the Union.

    Here is something tangible. It suggests a basis on which negotiations can be inaugurated. South Carolina goes ahead without "rhyme or reason." There, it is not disunion for cause, but disunion per se.

    Assuming the possibility of coming together in a fraternal spirit for the purpose of effecting "a more perfect union among the States," we are not without hopes that the result may prove suspicious. With a mutual desire to harmonize differences, let us suppose that in place of a vindictive Fugitive Slave Law-a law repugnant to manhood and honor-one should be enacted which arms the Federal authorities with all needful power for its execution, together with a provision making counties where fugitives are rescued by violence, from officers who have them in charge, liable for the value of the slaves so rescued.

    And in regard to the other vexed question, viz: the right of going into the Territories with slaves, why not restore the Missouri Compromise line? That secured to the South all territory adapted by soil and climate to its "peculiar institution."

    If we are not in error, two States only, Wisconsin and Vermont, have passed Personal Liberty Laws, or laws that can in any sense be considered as "obstructing the rendition of Fugitive Slaves. No under ground railroad lies through these States; at least no trunk line. The effect of such laws in those States is too insignificant to be made a matter of serious account on the part of the South. At any rate, it is too inconsequential to be made the basis of a secession from the connection with New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, where no obstructions by State legislation are offered.

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